Home | News    Thursday 14 February 2013

Ethiopia produces first military drone aircraft


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 14, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian military source has told Sudan Tribune that the country has built the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone which could be used for multiple purposes.

A US military drone (Source: CIA)

After undergoing testing, the locally made drones, have demonstrated their capability of performing a number of militarily and civilian applications, according to the source.

Speaking on condition of anonymity from the country’s air force base in Debrezeit town, a military official told Sudan Tribune that the drones are equipped with onboard sensors, cameras and GPS to carry out cost-effective monitoring activities even across difficult landscapes like the highlands of Ethiopia.

Besides serving in a number of military missions - such as in monitoring border security - the UAVs will also be deployed to perform geophysical surveys, assist forest protection and monitor forest fires or other natural disasters.

The drones have already made test flights performing a geophysical survey of Ethiopia’s controversial grand renaissance dam, a massive hydro-power plant project the country is constructing on the Blue Nile River near to the Sudanese border.

In recent years, many African countries have shown growing interest in using drones as a cost-effective way to control huge infrastructure facilities, as well as areas rich in natural resources such as oil, mine and gas sites.

In 2011 Ethiopia signed an agreement with Israeli manufacturer BlueBird Aero Systems to purchase drones.

Binyam Tekle, a lecturer and researcher at a government university, says the development of indigenous drones is a great achievement for Ethiopia and will help strengthen the national army.

Due to Ethiopia’s long and fragile borders with Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and more recently South Sudan, he said it is timely for the country to use UAVs to monitor these shared and often tense and porous zones.

“With Eritrea-backed rebels and Somalia’s al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab terrorists repeatedly posing threats to national security, using UAVs will be crucial for Ethiopia to avert planned attacks,” he told Sudan Tribune.

Ethiopia is a key regional security partner to the United States particularly in the war on terror due to its proximity to Yemen and Somalia.

In 2011, the Obama administration launched a drone base in Ethiopia for counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa, particularly to attack al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the US has had a drone base in Saudi Arabia, with its existence kept secret by the US media in collusion with the Obama administration.

In recent years, Ethiopia has made tremendous achievements in the defence sector by managing to manufacture its own military equipment and defence systems.

On Thursday, Ethiopia marked its first ever Defence Force Day under the theme “Our constitutional loyalty and public nature would be preserved”.

A defence exhibition was staged in the heart of the capital, Addis Ababa, demonstrating the level of progress the nation has made.

Light and heavy modern weapons, as well as different vehicles manufactured by the army-run automotive industry were also displayed at the exhibition.

Government officials said that Ethiopia has built a defence force capable of breaking any internal or external enemy.

The Horn of Africa nation has one of the strongest army and air forces on the continent and often contributes troops to United Nations peace keeping missions.

Ethiopia spends around 2.4% of its GDP on the military.


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  • 15 February 2013 03:22, by James Maker Akok

    LOL yes Ethiopia, good job for that!

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    • 15 February 2013 03:55, by zulu

      Yep. We have also signed an agreement with Israel to develop military ties and capabilities with Skyweb as the air defence system

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      • 15 February 2013 05:05, by Tutbol

        Nonsense that is just a US drone! it is a cover by the US to fool the region to accept the use of drones in region on the pretext of being regionally own because many nations don’t want the US drones on their yards. But the US has found ethiopia as a willing country they can use to fool the whole region. Watch out for these kind of deals for they are parts of imam Obama’s AFRICOM to recolonise...

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        • 15 February 2013 05:24, by Tutbol

          ...Africa. I hope africans should watch out for those countries with cosy relationship with the US, they should be isolated by the members states. Ethiopia must be shunned if its let self be used by the West as a neo-colonialism launch pad to destabalise the region & indeed the whole continent. People often say that ethiopia & Liberia were the only african nations not colonised but was by default.

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          • 15 February 2013 05:39, by Tutbol

            And now, these same so-called uncolonised nations of ethiopia & liberia are now hosting the US bases & equipments. In 2007, the then Ghanian president, who was then the head of AU refused president Bush request for more marine bases on the sub-saharan sub-continent.... wise John Kuffur. But now we have puppets steering africans gods help africans.

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            • 15 February 2013 06:32, by Addis Ababa

              Definetly you are Arab!
              Ethiopia was not colonized due to the hero fighters against Italian government military led at the highest level. Ask your crazy Egypt how they failed in our territory. Even single solder was not able to return home. Ask also South Sudan how Mengistu and Dr John Garang were working together. Provide for Black Africa!!

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              • 15 February 2013 07:36, by Nuer Empire

                Tutbol:It is true that you are a great pro to Mengistu Haile Mariam(Red Terror)and Dr Garang(Mexis Lennist).If you are against America,go and combine yourselves with terrorists.What is wrong using American technology? The two Mexis Lennists will never be visible both in Ethiopia and South Sudan.
                The Nuer Empire

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              • 15 February 2013 09:57, by Tutbol

                Adis Ababa, i am not an arab & will never even be; if the world is turned upside down. But i know our ethiopians brothers & sisters, who want to be the ethiopians & want to be anybodies these days. our current ethiopia doesn’t represent our African cultures, we in the S Sudan know our ehtiopian bros/sis know.

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              • 15 February 2013 10:05, by Northern Sudanese

                Addis shit
                stop spreading imaginations again, even we Sudanese still got the head of your old emperor yohannes! Our Khalifa chopped off his useless head for daring to challenge, forget the Italians, we Sudanese taught you a good lesson!
                ethiopia can’t even feed its people, let a lone drone planes!
                Sudanese the sons of the Mahadists heroes, not cow urine drinkers called south sudanese :D

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                • 15 February 2013 14:37, by Marco A. Wek

                  A terrorist mouth piece if North Sudan is already scared to death which he is showing in his weak attack to our African brother Addis Ababa. Well go to hell, Ethiopia has drone now which could be used on terrorists including you.
                  Bravo Ethiopia.

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              • 15 February 2013 10:05, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

                Addis Ababa please tutbol is senseless Dinka man who don’t known those who support them, Ethiopia fought alot for independent of South Sudan.niether Kenya nor Uganda did single part for S.S.
                we those who known the good relationship of Ethiopia we Support too much, b/c Ethi- did great roll for S.s. mov’t

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                • 15 February 2013 10:52, by Tutbol

                  Anyaway: to our Nilotes brothers/sisters; we in the S Sudan want you to stay where you are for your brothers/sisters in S Sudan know, without you, there would be no S Sudan to day. Every body knows there is no Nuers & Anuaks of ethiopia, but the Europeans geo-opolitical construction. The young people i know who been to ethiopia; think, whatever, little the S Sudanese get, our brothers & sisters...

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                  • 15 February 2013 11:12, by Tutbol

                    ... in the salients, i think you are not any diffferent from your kins in S Sudan. To my friend who branded me a dinka before; i am a dinka & a Nuer & if you continue to use that tribal hatred & branding then, you will not go anywhere even in your ethiopia. What is the diferrent b/n the nuer & a dinka if stupidity is not the one controling our peoples, hearts?

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                • 15 February 2013 11:47, by Addis Ababa


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                • 1 March 2013 18:51, by lobby

                  Yes we are ONE people: We Ethiopians and S.Sudan! We bled together, and we won together, we live together and die together! Long live Ethiopia and S. Sudan!

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          • 15 February 2013 13:35, by henok

            If you do not accept that Ethiopia was an independent country when all Africans were under the bondage of Colonialists (including your country), you can call to Rome and you will find out from the horse’s mouth. What we are doing is a matter of national security, and has nothing to do with being a launch pad for America or whatever. Let alone a drone, we will produce a nuclear bomb. Sta

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  • 15 February 2013 10:17, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

    North Sudan you lies Sudan can not defeat Ethiopian it’s Egpty who took agrassion and joint by useles Mahadist to ethiopia and killed Yannise IV and Ethiopian repulsed attack with more loose to Sudan and egypt at Matama war.

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  • 15 February 2013 11:44, by Extraterrestrial

    We are coming to get the Rashidiya entire tribe who have declared jihad in the form of trafficking Ethiopian women and children.
    You will pay soon for each and every Ethiopian you sold out to the Egyptian. For each Ethiopian smuggled we will kill 10 Rashidiya tribes man, women and children . You evil Arabs your days are numbered. You will pay no mercy for cannibalistic Arabs.

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  • 15 February 2013 13:12, by Fitsum

    Hey Mr. North Sudan!!
    Its good to see pointing your non-black nor-arabic fingers to Ethiopia and South Sudan. Don’t tell me that you do not know that your Albeshir is taking advice and instruction from Esayas Afeworki on how to move to attack South Sudan. Don’t bark with your full-wide mouth and try to demonstrate what you really have NO IDEA. You have no clue on what is going on at east africa

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  • 15 February 2013 13:28, by Fitsum

    What a "Northern sUdaN" !!!!!
    History and Tales are different. Sitting with blowing/smoking gum & talking tales is much different than being on the ground and watching the truth. I can assure you that you have no idea about WAR and also have no clue about how many of your soldiers are down in every little war! you’ll no longer continue as N.suDAn, expect more fractions starting Darfur! U little!

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  • 15 February 2013 13:44, by Fetehyelem

    To TOTBUL & NorthSudan. I have got some thing to say to you idiots. Tutbol, its not hard to identfy you are Eriterian cos your deep rooted hatered and jelousity towards Ethiopians is reflected on your comment.Forgeting the fact your parents are sticking like ticks and sucking blood of our parents in Ethiopia as Woyanes have done it.What we need from Eriteria is Assab port which is part of Afar reg

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    • 15 February 2013 14:01, by henok

      Ante fanday yefandya zer, leave the valiant and progressive woyane alone.Woyane is working for the betterment of Ethiopia.woyane has uplifted the name of Ethiopia in the international fora. You choma ras and your ancesstors dragged Ethiopia into the hell for centuries.Woyane the savior came and redeemed Ethiopia, of course chasing obsolete minded people like you.Our drone our peace

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  • 15 February 2013 13:52, by Fetehyelem

    To NorthSudan why you go far back to King Yohanis,it’ld be logical to refer the recent past of Derg era. Are you serious when you have said Sudan defeated Ethiopians, You must be kidding,It does not take hours let alone days and weeks to subjugated the entire Sudan. Infact, the people of ETH has been humilated by Woyane for the last two decades and keep OPENING ur stinky mouth on us.

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    • 15 February 2013 14:06, by henok

      Leave Woyane ante niftam. Woyane should not be in your stinky mouth. If you refuse to do so, we will use the drone on your head as a trial. Fandya. Huala ker.

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    • 15 February 2013 14:17, by sudani ana

      "It would not take hours to subjugate Sudan"??? Just try it you idiot. Tell you what, before you try that why don’t you take back the hundreds of thousands of your Ethiopian prostitutes who are in Khartoum spreading sexually transmitted disease in Sudan. We’ve had enough of them.

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  • 15 February 2013 13:58, by Fetehyelem

    Believe me after we have sorted out with Woyane your trial will be on pipe line.We will prove to you and beyond who we are. First and for most all Tigrians should get away from the land of Ethiopia and Ethiopia should be for Ethiopians. That is the cause millions are fighting for in and out of Ethiopia against all the odds(Tribalism)that Woyane has tried to instill in harmoniuos people of Ethiopia

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    • 15 February 2013 14:16, by henok

      The fact is Woyane will keep giving you a splitting headache for the coming 100 years, a headache not only for you, who is dying tomorrow, but for your coming generation. Do not mess with Woyane. We now have the drone if you like. Woyane is a superbly powerful body, so enigmatic to hold and check. If you do not believe, ask SHaebya, ELF, EDU, the Derg, EPRP, Somalia terrorists,what hav

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    • 15 February 2013 19:21, by Nuer Empire

      Fentehylem:Ante ye Derge lij new? Hydelemde? ye ante ras betam shigir alu,gin ye Ethiopia Mangist wey partoch lela hager alhedim! Derge(Red Terror)na ye Dibub Sudan(South Sudan)mexist Lenist(John Garang) yemutsilijoch konew! America aywedem!
      The Nuer Empire

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  • 15 February 2013 15:14, by Extraterrestrial

    @ sudani ana
    You are right, many of those prostitutes, the Ethiopian poor women in Sudan, that is right, don;t you think those poor women helped you from Sudanese man climbing another Sudanese man. You forgot we thought you how to love the women, not like the colonialists who thought you how to bend while you are a man.

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    • 15 February 2013 15:45, by sudani ana

      Well the problem is not just the Ethiopian prostitutes alone, its also the immoral Ethiopian men selling them for money. They can go home too.

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      • 15 February 2013 16:12, by Extraterrestrial

        Good for you than bending for a man!

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  • 15 February 2013 20:53, by James Maker Akok

    Now, North Sudan is scary now for what Israel did to help Ethiopia for Ethiopia build Military superpower in Africa and Israel is planning same thing in South Sudan. Sorry, is going to be bad now for North Sudan and Egypt, and Iran worrying also for these two countries to become military power with Israel together.

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  • 15 February 2013 21:11, by Ethiopic

    For the love of God, would you please stop. What is so special about building a drone? For me it is just like making one step forward in the technology advanced world, just like making an electric car! Bravo for the genius who made it. what if that was a civilian plane? would you all be saying what u said.

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    • 15 February 2013 22:56, by James Maker Akok

      Fake name to put yourself as Ethiopia,
      Lol, I know you are not Ethiopian you are Northern Sudanese to pretending yourself to be Ethiopian in case to confusing people.
      You North Sudan you are been lockup now no more movement now for you in the future.

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  • 15 February 2013 21:25, by Ethiopic

    byzway what is in it for you to talk about who defeated who , who fought who or what so ever happened in the past w/c got nothin’ to add on ur present. for me what matter is how sunny the day is today. so please lets love each other n agree on our differencespolitical,cultural n spiritual n embrace it for the good of the continent. have good lovely day! that is for all of you!!!

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  • 15 February 2013 21:35, by Ethiopic

    Not to serve you the benefit of doubt; I am an Ethiopian who loves his country, his nation,the continent plus the whole world. when i say this as of being an Ethiopian Airlines pilot i have been to a lot of places n every place i have been is beautiful in it own way. i am grateful to have this chance to experience that and to know everyone of them i met on my journey. take-care!

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